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On each pair of VICO shoes we apply a natural layer of cork by hand. The cork that we apply to our shoes is harvested in Southern Portugal, during the summer months. With an annual output of 100,000 tonnes, Portugal is the world’s cork capital and biggest producer. We could not get any closer to the source, as we produce our handmade shoes in Portugal as well.
Cork is a versatile, natural material and it is applied to various products and used for even more diverse applications. Of course cork is supplied to wineries around the globe, but NASA also uses cork in the construction of Spacecraft. The fact that cork is a relatively soft material and that it is dense and compacted makes it very suitable for footwear applications.
Cork is harvested from cork trees, with the material forming just under the upper bark layer. Cork trees are harvested after 25 years and every 9 to 13 years thereafter. The cork industry is generally regarded as environmentally friendly. Cork production is sustainable because the cork tree is not cut down to obtain cork; only the bark is stripped to harvest the cork.The tree continues to live and grow. The sustainability of production and the easy recycling of cork products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects.
We apply a natural layer of cork between the sole and the midsole. This application by hand provides an added layer of comfort and insulation. This fluid layer will mould to the shape of your foot after the first few days of wear.